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Open spaces handed over to the public ceremoniously

Discover and spend a little time on the Marco Polo Terraces: Many thousands of visitors and numerous new residents came to the opening festival for the open spaces at Grasbrookhafen harbour (© ELBE&FLUT)

Residents and visitors to HafenCity celebrated the opening of the Marco Polo Terraces, the Vasco da Gama Plaza and the southern Dalmannkai Promenade with the Dalmannkai Steps for a whole weekend together as one large festival. Tens of thousands used the opportunity to discover the attractive squares and promenades for themselves and to enjoy the view in the direction of the River Elbe and the port for themselves. A colourful programme was offered, also under the motto 'Discover’, to provide a suitable framework. One highlight of this event was the French actions theatre group Cie. Transe Express which impressed the crowds with a performance delivered 50 metres above ground. NDR television also presented expert talk shows covering HafenCity topics at the music venue. Regy Clasen, Raphaël Marionneau and Pohlmann provided the right sounds for just spending time there, relaxing or dancing.

A number of dignitaries attended the festival-style inauguration ceremony including Senator Axel Gedaschko, President of the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment and Jürgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive Officer of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH but also the architect Benedetta Tagliabue from the Office EMBT in Barcelona responsible for the design of the area, as well as the Portuguese Ambassador and the Italian Head of Mission.

The Marco Polo Terraces are the most lavish waterfront location in HafenCity: They are located between Dalmannkai and Strandkai at the head of Grasbrookhafen harbour. The terraces drop down over three different levels to the waterfront. Hill-shaped lawns spread over a total area of 920 square metres, offering places to lie down while trees invite one to linger a while under their shade. There are wooden decks available at the very water's edge as sitting and lying down areas. There is a building planned on the south side of the square into which a catering establishment, amongst others, will be moving. The Dalmannkai Promenade, an approximately 400 metres long and 12 metres green strip lined with trees, makes it way from the Marco Polo Terraces to the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall. It is lined with cherry trees and grass land and equipped with a range of seating specifically designed for this location. The so-called "Lungomares" are already particular favourites, designed based on the idea of a wave turned to stone.

On the way to the Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall the promenade passes along Vasco da Gama Plaza, which takes on an important function as a local square for the residential area Dalmannkai. This is a location where residents can hold city festivals, use the playgrounds or simply enjoy eating out. One passes over a ramp suitable for use by the disabled and a large perron to the quayside promenade. The Dalmannkai Steps are attached a little further to the west as a small green open space; a design solution for remembering the destruction of the quays during the Second World War. The steps drop down to the waterfront. Their four lawned and cultivated levels open out into unobstructed views over the River Elbe. The kiosk "Kaiserperle" is integrated into the mound wall at this location.